P195M budget for abortifacients cut from DOH
MANILA, Philippines— The Senate has deleted the P200-million allocation for abortifacients in the proposed budget of the Department of Health (DOH) in 2020.
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said his decision to cut the DOH’s budget by P195 million was reached during Senate floor deliberations on the P4.1-trillion appropriations.
“My amendment was to cut P195 million from the DOH budget… We cut P195 M from the DOH budget na allotted for commodities that are not yet agreed or approved by the President. Yung mga abortifacients na sinasabi,” Sotto told reporters on Tuesday.
Sotto said the budget slash was realigned to various agencies and programs.
He pointed out that the amount slashed the DOH was too small compared to previous budget cuts.
The 2020 budget bill is now up for approval by the congressional bicameral conference committee, which was convened last Friday.
Sotto said he is hopeful the Senate could ratify the budget when it resumes session next week.
Once ratified by the Senate and the House of Representatives, the budget bill would be transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature.
The Senate leader also dismissed the possibility of a deadlock in the passage of the 2020 budget, like what happened in this year’s appropriation.
Due to alleged “pork insertions,” the approval of the 2019 national budget was delayed and was signed by the President only last April.
“(Budget) Impasse? Ah hindi, hindi naman siguro . I don’t foresee anything like that because anything is done before the bicam, during the bicam and before ratification. Kasama talaga sa preparation ng budget yan,” he said.
([Budget] impasse? No, I don’t think so. I don’t foresee anything like that because anything is done before the bicam, during the bicam and before ratification. That’s part of the budget preparations)
Unlike last year where he said amendments to the budget were still being done even after the ratification.
“I don’t expect Speaker (Alan) Cayetano and their chairman of appropriations to do something like that,” Sotto added.
Edited by EDV
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